Top 4 Panorama trains in Switzerland: The Glacier Express

The Glacier Express 1

I have always been passionate about travelling by train
and the unique sense of a journey it brings. Just sitting there staring at the landscapes passing by – the feeling of being ON THE WAY. It’s just different in a train compared to driving a car or taking a plane.

Therefore I was extremely excited about exploring Switzerland by train this summer, and covering much of the stunning alpine country on tracks. Through three different language zones and ever changing landscapes.

In four blog posts I will introduce you to the top 4 panorama trains in Switzerland: (Random order)
GoldenPass Line
Glacier Express
Bernina Express
Wilhelm Tell Express


If you love trains and appreciate raw nature – this is a dream come true. It sure was for me. The Glacier Express is often mentioned among the most beautiful train rides in the world, and therefore I had high expectations when finally getting the opportunity to jump onboard this summer.The Glacier Express 2

This alpine-crossing wondertrain was my main target when touring Switzerland on tracks, and I took it from ski-crazy Zermatt, after spending a day in “The Matterhorn City”. A good view to the iconic Matterhorn mountain is a must before leaving – or after arriving in – Zermatt. In that quest, you might want to try your luck from Gornergrat, which you can reach via the highest open-air railway in Europe – Gornergrat Bahn. A visit so high that it will literally leave you breathless.


The disappearing silhouette of the famous mountain will lead you on your way as you set off on the worlds slowest “express train”, covering a journey of 291 kilometers in just over 8 hours. But don’t even think about taking a nap, because you might miss out on some of those spectacular views, to wild rivers in deep valleys below snow clad The Glacier Express 3mountain peaks. Along the way 91 tunnels will play hide-and-seek with your vision and you will cross 291 bridges – one per kilometer in average, though you might not really notice many of them.

The natural hightlights are the breathtaking Oberalp Pass at 2.033 meter, and the deep Gran-Canyon-like Rhine Gorge. Of the 291 bridges, the architechtual masterpiece of the Landwasser Viaduct is the most famous – leading you into the dark of the mountain to follow. And you can follow each step along the tracks from your seat with the audio guide, or change the channel to zone out to the sliding landscapes with some music. If you want the real deal – select the alpine music channel.

You’ll be “high on mountains” when you finally reach the piqturesque settings of St. Moritz – and why not finish off an amazing day with a trip to the world’s biggest whiskey bar.

Food is available onboard the Glacier Express, but the only problem is – it will be hard to keep your eyes on the plate. This was without a doubt the most amazing train journey I’ve taken, and I’m quite sure I’ll be back one day – maybe to take the reversed trip.

The Glacier Express 4

About the Glacier Express

Travels between: Zermatt – St. Moritz
Number of changes: None (but a short detour to Chur)
Total journey time: 8 hours and 3 minutes
Distance covered: 291 km.
Highlights: Zermatt (Matterhorn and Gornergrat), the Oberalp Pass, the Rhine Gorge, the Landwasser Viaduct, St. Moritz.
Must do: Be rested to keep focused during the whole trip – the natural wonders are endless.
Prices and info online: The Glacier Express

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By Brian Schæfer Dreyer